Automatic Payments Can Save You From Massive Debt
Bills. Yes, they do exist and yes, they are annoying, especially when you don’t pay them on time. Some even come with costly consequences when they are not paid on time. These consequences can include anything from having to pay late fees, to higher interest rates, and even negatively affecting your credit score, which as we all know, will cost you. This is where automatic payments come in.
Paying your bills on time is a given, but trust and believe not everyone pays their bills on time. You miss one payment, spend the money, and the following month you end up owing double. Not only are you carrying that debt, but chances are you owe MORE money given the late fees and interest rates. How do I know? It’s happened to me several times in the past and trust me when I tell you; I paid the price for it.
Let’s face it; we’re all so caught up with our day to day activities that we often times forget about the important things in life, like actually having to go online and paying the bills. Leveraging automatic payments has been one of the best decisions I’ve made when it comes to paying my bills on time because I no longer have to worry about missing them. They literally get paid automatically.
Luckily for you, what you need to do is fairly simple.
Here are the few simple steps you need to take to start paying your bills automatically:
- Determine what dates you get paid. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, make sure you have sufficient funds in the account to cover the payments in order to avoid overdraft fees.
(This is important because some overdraft fees can go be as high as $35. If this is the case, switch banks because they’re ripping you off)
2. Go online to each billing company’s website and select the automatic payments option. (For the most part, the majority of companies have this option, however if for any reason they don’t I would put a reminder on your phone or desktop to remind you to make that one time monthly payment)
3. Input your checking account information so that the payments get auto-debited from your account. (You will need to have your routing and account numbers for your checking account readily available)
4. Setup the automatic payments on the dates you get paid and then literally forget about having to manually make another payment.
5. Alternatively, for bills that don’t change, like car loans, you can login to your bank account and set up automatic bill payments through them. (Make sure you have the account number to the bill and the exact dollar amount)
My personal advice based off the information I received from my financial advisor, is to keep a FAT checking account. What that means is, keep in your account 1-3months worth of expenses in your account. So, if for example, your bills total $1000/month, then the minimum balance in your checking account should be anywhere between $1000 to $3000.
Now, I know this may sound more difficult than what it really is, but I can assure you that if you decrease your spending and stay frugal for a few months, you will definitely be able to make it happen. It takes discipline to make it possible, and you might have to make some sacrifices, like eating out less, buying less one-time outfits to wear on the weekend, and taking on credit card debt.However, I can assure you that it’s worth it.
In doing so, you gain a sense of security by avoiding over-drafts and easily building a rainy day fund for unexpected and miscellaneous expenses that inevitably arise.
Most of the problems we face in our personal lives are because of money or a lack there of. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to make it a point in your life to take action and actually start setting up your bills to auto-pay.
The main problem we face nowadays is not that we don’t have all our questions unanswered, but that we DO have all the answers and fail to act on them. Make a difference in your financial future by automating your payment plans so you never miss a payment again. So, before you log off the site, make a list of all your bills and AUTOMATE THEM ALL.